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JD Sports fills CEO position after 8 years with Schultz appointment

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·2-min read
JD Sports logo on exterior of store in London
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By Amna Karimi and Yadarisa Shabong

(Reuters) -Britain's biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports Fashion said on Tuesday French businessman and former B&Q executive Regis Schultz would become its chief executive officer, filling the top position after eight years.

The FTSE 100 group in May ousted long-time executive chairman Peter Cowgill due to issues with internal governance and controls. Cowgill had held the executive position and managed the group since Barry Bown stepped down as CEO in 2014.

Schultz's appointment comes months after JD Sports said it would speed up the split of the chairman and chief executive officer roles after a review found shortcomings in its corporate governance.

It appointed Andrew Higginson, former chair of supermarkets group Morrisons, as its new chairman last month.

Schultz, 53, is expected to start his new role at JD Sports in September and will be tasked with steering the group while it overhauls its corporate governance structure and deals with investigations by Britain's antitrust watchdog.

He has been president of retail at Middle Eastern group Al-Futtaim since 2019 and was chief financial officer at British home improvement chain Kingfisher's do-it-yourself business, B&Q.

"He has also delivered transformational change through digitisation in a number of his roles," JD's Higginson said.

The appointment comes a day after JD Sports sold Footasylum to German asset management firm Aurelius Group after the UK's Competition and Markets Authority ordered the sale last year due to competition concerns.

Last month JD Sports, which sells Nike, Adidas, Puma and in-house brands, said it expects 2023 profit to be in line with last year's record performance on strong demand for athleisure apparel and sportswear.

Shares in the company, which have lost more than 40% so far this year, were down 1.4% in morning trade.

($1 = 0.9752 euros)

(Reporting by Amna Karimi and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Jan Harvey)

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